Wednesday, July 31, 2013

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet' | World news | theguardian.com

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet' | World news | theguardian.com

One presentation claims the XKeyscore program covers 'nearly everything a typical user does on the internet'
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from theinternet.
The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian's earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisasurveillance court oversight.

Jeju Island South Korea aims to become Asia's education hub-The Korea Herald

Jeju aims to become Asia's education hub-The Korea Herald
thingsaboutsouthkorea:

Jeju - South Korea

awwwww.. Jeju Island :( :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

China’s Solar Industry Wins Reprieve | Pacific Money | The Diplomat

China’s Solar Industry Wins Reprieve | Pacific Money | The Diplomat
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China’s embattled solar industry received a semi-reprieve last week when the EU-China solar trade spat reached a partial settlement. Whilst the deal agreed will provide some relief for China’s photo-voltaic (PV) cell makers, there is still room for European competitors to challenge the ruling, and it must be approved by the EU Commission later this week. What’s more, the EU is also considering separate duties on Chinese solar panels to counter alleged subsidies received by Chinese producers. READ MORE

China Not Waiting for US to Lead on Climate | China Power | The Diplomat

China Not Waiting for US to Lead on Climate | China Power | The Diplomat

800px-Electrical_and_Mechanical_Services_Department_Headquarters_Photovoltaics
After highly publicized visits to China and India, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has the world thinking that the U.S. is taking the reins on addressing climate change.
Unfortunately, that is not the case.
This is not to disparage the progress made in the new partnerships announced by Secretary Kerry and his counterparts in Beijing and New Delhi. If mankind is to have any chance in mitigating the effects of climate change, it needs everyone on board. But what Kerry’s speeches and op-eds have managed to do is re-create a nostalgic psychosis that the world somehow needs Washington to lead – that other nations are sitting idly by, incapable of taking on climate change. READ MORE

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chinese Government Will Spend $277 Billion to Combat Air Pollution By J. T. Quigley

BeijingSmog
China has announced that it will invest 1.7 trillion yuan ($277 billion) over the next five years to fight the dangerous and rapidly increasing air pollution that has developed as a consequence of China’s rapid economic rise. The news comes from the U.S. edition of China Daily, citing the measure’s approval by the State Council last month.
The bold initiative, dubbed the Airborne Pollution Prevention and Control Action Plan, was proposed by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection and will run through 2017. It will give priority to the country’s northern regions – particularly Beijing, Tianjin, and Heibei province – which are the main sources of the vast majority of dangerous air pollution.
The government’s new plan ultimately seeks to reduce air emissions by 25 percent compared to 2012 levels.
“The thick smog and haze that covered large areas of the country in January has focused public attention on this issue,” said Zhao Hualin, a senior official at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in the China Daily reportREAD MORE

Friday, July 26, 2013

After 60 Years of Suffering, Time to Replace Korean Armistice with Peace Treaty | Common Dreams

After 60 Years of Suffering, Time to Replace Korean Armistice with Peace Treaty | Common Dreams
"For six decades, the Korean peninsula has been marked by tragedy and war, a pawn on a global chessboard determining its fate. Yet much of this human suffering could be resolved through one action: replace the armistice with a peace treaty."
READ MORE

Soviet memories of the Korean War | Russia & India Report

Soviet memories of the Korean War | Russia & India Report


Soviet memories of the Korean War
On the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, RIR found and translated memoirs of one of the many thousands of Soviet soldiers, who were sent to fight in Korea “for the ideals of world communism.”

The participation of Soviet pilots in the Korean war was made public in the Soviet Union only in the 1970-1980s. Source: Flickr / U.S. Army Korea (Historical Image Archive)

Nikolay Melteshinov is very pleased with his brief military career. In October 1952, he was honored to serve his mother country once again. The Great Patriotic War (World War II) had ended, and he, being still a young, but experienced anti-aircraft artilleryman, was offered to perform a special mission.
At the Khabarovsk Military Garrison, they made him sign a pledge of secrecy, but according to Melteshnikov, many already knew what was going on. Having received his identification badge and becoming part of the 76-mm anti-aircraft gun division, he went to his mission by train. At that time, just like now, he was not interested in politics. That is why he did not ask why or where. At the transshipment point in the border town of Grodekovo, he changed his uniform from that of a Soviet officer for a Chinese military tunic. READ MORE

As Tensions with West Rise, Moscow Looks to Asia | The Diplomat

As Tensions with West Rise, Moscow Looks to Asia | The Diplomat
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South Korea’s Economy: Back on Target? | Pacific Money | The Diplomat

South Korea’s Economy: Back on Target? | Pacific Money | The Diplomat
Seoul_dusk2
South Korea’s football team may be firing blanks at the East Asian Cup, but the national economy has started scoring goals again. On Thursday, Asia’s fourth-largest economy beat expectations by posting its fastest growth rate in more than two years, expanding by 2.3 percent on an annualized basis following increased private consumption and government spending.
The 1.1 percent rise in gross domestic product for the June quarter exceeded the 0.8 percent growth of the previous quarter, beating the median 0.8 percent estimate of economists polled by Bloomberg News.
According to the latest data, private consumption grew by 1 percent although investment sagged to just 0.5 percent growth. Exports expanded by 1.5 over the quarter, down from the previous quarter’s 3 percent gain as the weaker yen reduced competitiveness.
ANZ economists Louis Lam and Raymond Yeung described the figures as “encouraging” in the face of slowing growth in China, the nation’s biggest trading partner.
“We believe the economy has bottomed. Growth prospects are set to further improve in the [second half] as the US markets are recovering and [the] impact of the supplementary budget is kicking in, albeit at a gradual pace,” they said in a statement.
“In light of the downside risk from China’s slowdown, we forecast the GDP to grow at 2.6 percent in 2013 and 3.9 percent in 2014.”  READ MORE

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Election in the Bag, Japan Sets Sights on Expanding Military (LinkAsia: ...

[Reportage] Inside Japan’s growing xenophobic right-wing : International : Home

[Reportage] Inside Japan’s growing xenophobic right-wing : International : Home
Right-wing protesters on Hallyu (Korean Wave) Street in Tokyo hold signs calling for South Koreans to be kept off of Japanese television, March 31.

Nativist far-right groups target ethnic Koreans in Japan with discrimination and foul-mouthed criticism

By Jeong nam-ku, Tokyo correspondent
Following former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak’s visit to Dokdo in October of last year, relations between South Korea and Japan were quickly chilled. There was also a sharp increase in the number of anti-Korean protests by Japanese far-right groups. Starting this year, about once or twice a month protesters have taken to the streets in Shin-Okubu, Tokyo’s Koreatown, to shout inflammatory, anti-Korean phrases.
The group at the center of the gatherings is called Citizens against Special Privilege of Zainichi (abbreviated as Zaitokukai). Goichi Yasuda, who wrote a book titled “Right-Wing and Patriotism Online,” says that people join Zaitokukai because they are looking for the solidarity of a family and out of a desire for acceptance. The group is extremely xenophobic. At a joint meeting of Japan’s far-right nationalist groups, the Hankyoreh’s Tokyo correspondent had a chance to hear their unvarnished opinions. The point of the visit was to seek a more accurate understanding of the real identity of groups like this.
 
Hanging on the middle of the wall behind the stage was a massive Japanese flag. The people got out of their seats, and the Japanese national anthem “Kimigayo” began to play. The host of the event, who was wearing a black suit, came on to the stage, leading two other people. One after the other, the three figures bowed their heads low before the Japanese flag. The host also got down on one knee and raised the hand that was not holding the mike above his head and in various directions as he spoke in the loud tone of a demagogue. The word “South Korea” came to his lips.
“We must drive these filthy foreigners out of Japan!” the host said. The people sitting in the seats responded by saying, “That’s right!” With the introductory ceremony over, the three bowed once more to the Japanese flag one after the other as they left the stage.
This was what was taking place at the Ebarahiraoka District Citizens’ Hall in Meguro District in Tokyo, Japan, around 12:30 pm on June 1. Japanese far-right organizations including Zaitokukai had gathered for a general meeting of the conservative groups active in Tokyo. Of the 382 seats in the hall, about 130 seats were filled, not counting the ten reporters who were present. About half of the people in attendance were in their 20s and 30s. There were few older people to be seen.
The three-and-a-half-hour indoor gathering was a rare chance to hear the Japanese far right express their opinions with complete honesty. When the Hankyoreh requested press credentials, the Zaitokukai agreed, but with one caveat. The reporter would not be allowed to take any pictures of participants’ faces or conduct any individual interviews.
#'A second wave of "Koreaphobia"‘ READ MORE

The Beatles - Abbey Road (Complete Album) HQ

Gnarls Barkley- - - " Crazy " ( H Q )

Friday, July 19, 2013

South Korea’s F-X Project and Structural Disarmament By Soon Ho Lee

The ROK’s plans for next-generation fighters could prove very costly indeed.
F-15K_re-fuel_from_a_KC-135
The F-X project in South Korea was initially proposed in the early 1990s, to ultimately replace the country’s F-4 and F-5 fleet and gain air supremacy over North Korea. Following the financial crisis of 1997, however, the project was scaled back from an initial plan for 120 fighters to just 40, with 40 F-15Ks being purchased in 2002 (phase 1). Then, in the second phase of the project, another 20 F-15Ks were purchased in 2007.
To reach its original target, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) still needed another 60 next-generation fighters. Thus, the F-X Phase 3 (F-X III) project was launched, with the aim of procuring those 60 additional air fighters to supersede the aging F-4 and F-5 fleet. The plan is to introduce them between 2017 and 2021 at a cost of 8.3 trillion won ($7.3 billion).
But even though the ROK economy has grown steadily over the years and the country has continuously modernized its armed forces, such a rapid increase in military spending on its air force looks to be an almost impossible task, particularly given the major role that ground forces plan in ROK military and the need to prepare for the wartime command takeover in 2015. For this reason alone, the entire F-X III project cost, involving initial procurement and future maintenance, needs to be examined more closely.
Should the project proceed, then given the initial procurement budget and the astronomical maintenance costs, the F-X III could well lead to the structural disarmament of ROKAF. Structural disarmament – a concept first suggested by Thomas Callahan – has its roots in the increased technological sophistication of weapons systems. Technological improvements cost money, making each new generation of weapon system much more expensive. With higher unit costs, fewer systems can be produced and purchased.
The F-X III  READ MORE

Comfort women statue captivates visitors outside Japanese Embassy : International : Home

Comfort women statue captivates visitors outside Japanese Embassy : International : Home
The comfort woman statue outside the Japanese Embassy in Seoul is dressed according to rainy or cold weather by citizens and volunteers. above photo by Shin So-young, staff photographer and below by Newsis)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Singapore’s GDP Surprise

Singapore’s GDP Surprise | Pacific Money | The Diplomat

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China’s numbers may have captured most investor interest, but Singapore delivered the biggest surprise among the latest economic growth data from Asia.
Just days after the International Monetary Fund delivered a warning on global growth, the city-state announced Friday a speedy 15.2 percent quarter-on-quarter growth rate for the June quarter, marking itsfastest quarterly expansion in more than two years.
Singapore’s surge compared to the previous quarter’s 1.8 percent increase, and bettered all 12 estimates compiled by Bloomberg News in its survey of economists, which predicted a median expansion of 8.1 percent.
On a year-on-year basis, the Southeast Asian state’s economy grew by 3.7 percent, ahead of Bloomberg’s median forecast of 2 percent and in line with government predictions of a 1 to 3 percent GDP gain for 2013.
According to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), manufacturing led the way, growing by 38 percent in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the previous quarter due to strong output from the biomedical manufacturing and electronics industries.

Korea to ban incandescent bulbs in 2014-The Korea Herald

Korea to ban incandescent bulbs in 2014-The Korea Herald

Anarcho-syndicalism in Japan: 1911 to 1934 - Philippe Pelletier | libcom.org

Anarcho-syndicalism in Japan: 1911 to 1934 - Philippe Pelletier | libcom.org
Kotoku Shusui
An essay on the rise and fall of organized anarchism in Japan in the early 20th century, with special emphasis on its anarcho-syndicalist dimension, with interesting details concerning the disputes, splits and controversies that plagued the Japanese movement and which were surprisingly similar in their basic contours to those that affected the anarchist movement in the West during the same period.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Secret TPP Deal Would Void Democracy | Labor Notes

Secret TPP Deal Would Void Democracy | Labor Notes

Why Russia won’t throw Syria under the bus | Russia & India Report

Why Russia won’t throw Syria under the bus | Russia & India Report

Indian Caste System Imported To Britain? Dalits Say Yes, Upper Caste Hindus Say No

Indian Caste System Imported To Britain? Dalits Say Yes, Upper Caste Hindus Say No
A Union flag flies near Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in London October 24, 2011.

Is China Really Loosening Its Tibet Policy? | The Diplomat

Is China Really Loosening Its Tibet Policy? | The Diplomat
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Reports that Beijing is “experimenting” with its Tibet policy have surfaced recently, with suggestions that it waslifting – unofficially at least – a decades-old ban on the Dalai Lama’s image in certain ethnic Tibetan regions. Some outside observers saw it as a new gambit under recently inaugurated President Xi Jinping to appeal to Tibetans and put an end to the series of self-immolations that have damaged China’s human rights image.   
Beijing quickly refuted the reports. But analysts believe Chinese authorities would want to keep any changes quiet, which for now are likely being tested in certain areas. For the moment, then, it’s a matter of wait and see.
Since 1994, Beijing authorities have run a particularly hostile campaign against the exiled Tibet’s spiritual head, the Dalai Lama, including prohibitions on the display of his photographs and requirements for monks and nuns to denounce the Dalai Lama. The policies led to mass protests inside Tibet in 2008 as well as ongoing religious suppression in the region. READ MORE

The Indian Foreign Service: Worthy of an Emerging Power? | The Diplomat

The Indian Foreign Service: Worthy of an Emerging Power? | The Diplomat

Friday, July 12, 2013

Asia Times Online :: The China-US 'Brotherhood' by Pepe Escobar

Asia Times Online :: The China-US 'Brotherhood'
By Pepe Escobar

The fifth round of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue began this Thursday in Washington. This China-US "Brotherhood" does involve a lot of talk - with no perceptible action. US Think Tankland is trying to convey the impression that Beijing is now in a more fragile position relative to Washington compared with the post-financial crisis environment in 2009. Nonsense.
It's as if the ongoing NSA (global) scandal never happened; Edward Snowden exposed how the US government has turned against its own citizens even while it keeps spying on virtually the whole planet. Then there's the meme of the Chinese economy
being "in trouble", when in fact Beijing is launching a long-reaching, complex strategy to calibrate the effects of a relative economic slowdown.
Finally, the supposed "aggressive Chinese behavior" in terms of Asian security is just spin. Beijing is building up its navy, of course - yet at the same time both China and selected members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are fine-tuning their tactics ahead of multilateral talks about a code of conduct for any serious problems in the South China Sea. Beijing would be foolish to go for diplomacy of the gunboat variety - which would certainly attract a US countercoup.
Bogged down, all over
Beijing has clearly interpreted the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's "liberation" of Libya - now reverted into failed state status; US support for the destruction of Syria; and the "pivoting" to Asia as all interlinked, targeting China's ascension and devised to rattle the complex Chinese strategy of an Eurasian energy corridor.
Yet it does not seem to be working. As Asia Times Online reported, the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline may well end up as IPC, "C" being an extension to Xinjiang in western China. Beijing also knows very well how the proposed Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline has been a key reason for the emphatic attack on Syria orchestrated by actors such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Beijing calculates that if Bashar al-Assad stays and the US$10 billion pipeline ever gets completed (certainly with Chinese and Russian financial help) the top client may end up being Beijing itself, and not Western Europe.
Considering its strategic relationship with Islamabad, Beijing is also very much aware of any US moves to stir up trouble in geo-strategically crucial Balochistan in Pakistan - with a possible overspill to neighboring Sistan-Balochistan province in Iran. In parallel, Beijing interprets US bluster and intransigence about Iran's nuclear program as a cover story to upset its solid energy security partnership with Tehran.
Regarding Afghanistan, the corridors at the Zhongnanhai in Beijing must be echoing with laughter as Washington backtracks no less than 16 years, to the second Bill Clinton administration - an eternity in politics - to talk to the Taliban in Doha essentially about one of the oldest Pipelinestan gambits. "We want a pipeline" (the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India, TAPI), says Washington. "We want our cut", the Taliban reply. This is politics as Groundhog Day.
The problem is Washington has absolutely nothing to offer the Taliban. The Taliban, on the other hand, will keep their summer offensive schedule, knowing full well they will be free to do whatever they please after President Hamid Karzai slides into oblivion. As for the Washington notion that Islamabad will be able to keep the Afghan Taliban in check, even the goats in the Hindu Kush are laughing about it.
It's all about Syria

Asia Times Online :: China looks again at Gwadar and Pakistan

Asia Times Online :: China looks again at Gwadar and Pakistan

The Korean War: Forgotten, Unknown and Unfinished

The Korean War: Forgotten, Unknown and Unfinished

Korean War.

[TV ZONE] A stupa which looks after Mount Seorak, Bongjeongam Temple Bud...

[TV ZONE] The flower of life created by nature and humans Taepyeong Salt...

Indonesia: Draconian austerity amidst impressive economic growth

Indonesia: Draconian austerity amidst impressive economic growth

Monday, July 8, 2013

Israel's Quest for Yellowcake: The Secret Argentine-Israeli Connection, 1963-1966

The Israel-Argentina Yellowcake Connection

This and the three other photographs of the construction site near Dinoma in the Negev desert for Israel's then-secret nuclear reactor were taken during 1960. It is difficult to identify precisely who took these photos, but information in a draft U.S. Intelligence Board post-mortem strongly suggests that British and U.S. military attachés took the photos. It is likely that these are the photographs described on pages 13 and 14 of that report. The plainly visible reactor dome undermined Israeli claims that a textile factory was under construction. These images of the reactor site, some of them classified secret or confidential, are located in State Department records at the National Archives. (Record Group 59, Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space, General Records Relating to Atomic Energy, 1948-62, box 501, Country File Z1.50 Israel f. Reactors 1960)

Moscow increasingly looks towards the Asia-Pacific Region | Russia & India Report

Moscow increasingly looks towards the Asia-Pacific Region | Russia & India Report

Moscow increasingly looks towards the Asia-Pacific Region
Russia's mutually-beneficial cooperation with Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Australia and the ASEAN states is evolving dynamically. Source: AFP/EastNews

Joint naval exercises cement Russia-China ties | Russia & India Report

Joint naval exercises cement Russia-China ties | Russia & India Report

Joint naval exercises cement Russia-China ties
Russia-China relations are getting stronger, though the situation in Asia-Pacific has shown signs of instability. Source: Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/mil.ru

Truthdig - The Death of Truth by Chris Hedges

Truthdig - The Death of Truth

U.S.-China Trade, 1971–2012: Insights into the U.S.-China Relationship 米中貿易 1971〜2012年 中日関係についての洞察 :: JapanFocus

U.S.-China Trade, 1971–2012: Insights into the U.S.-China Relationship 米中貿易 1971〜2012年 中日関係についての洞察 :: JapanFocus